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Kids create fun toys using scientific concepts

Using scientific concepts to create innovative toys - that is what some 6,000 students did in the largest toy-invention competition this year, which saw a record 5,070 entries.

SINGAPORE: Using scientific concepts to create innovative toys - that is what some 6,000 students did in the largest toy-invention competition this year, which saw a record 5,070 entries.

One of the winning entries was a "hungry spider" that helps you carry your marbles. Players can control the movements with puppet strings to avoid the obstacles and gain points. This ingenious game is based on basic physics concepts.

It was created by siblings Zena and Zackary Bek of Pei Chun Public School, winners at the Sony Creative Science Award ScizKid category for primary 3 to 6 students.

Zena said: "The retractable line stores potential energy, so when you pull the rings at the corner, the potential energy will help to stabilise the movement of the spider, so that if you pull too hard it doesn't move too fast or too slow, depending on how much you pull it."

Singapore's longest-standing toy competition is now into its 17th year, and a total of 41 primary school students received awards for their creativity and understanding of scientific concepts. They received their awards from Mr Sam Tan, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office and Culture, Community and Youth Ministry.

Dr Chew Soon He, one of the judges in the competition said: "Because this competition is targeted at primary school students, and we have two categories, one is P1 to P2 and another is P3 to P6. And knowing that their scientific knowledge is limited, we are not going into very detail on how deep they know the scientific principles but rather how they can use the principle they know and creatively create some toys that demonstrates these basic principles."

Five teachers also received the Diamond Award for inspiring their students to excel in science. 21 schools were also presented the "Friends of SCSA" (Sony Creative Science Award) award in recognition of their commitment to the competition.

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